ISLAMABAD - The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication has notified two new polio cases from Bannu and North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bringing the total number of polio cases in the country to eight this year.

According to the details shared by the NEOC, the infected children include a 22 months old male child of district Bannu and 24 months old female child of tehsil Miran Shah, tribal District North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

“Vaccinating all children in every campaign is important to attain full immunity against the polio virus” said Prime Minister Focal Person on Polio Babar Bin Atta. “Fortunately, children who are vaccinated against polio multiple times are able to fight the virus back. The more doses of the polio vaccine a child receives, the higher the chances of escaping lifelong paralysis,” he added.

According to Babar Bin Atta, children who are not vaccinated against polio or have not received enough doses of the vaccine to fight off the virus are at a far greater risk of developing lifelong paralysis or even dying.

NEOC notifies two new polio cases from Bannu and North Waziristan districts

“There is no cure for polio once the damage is done. On the other hand, we do have an effective vaccine to prevent this from happening,” said the focal person. “It is entirely safe to give multiple doses of the vaccine and in fact that is how the vaccine is designed. More doses will offer better protection against poliovirus, and that is why it is important that all children regardless of vaccination status are reached every time, during each vaccination round.”

Pakistan remains to be one of the two last countries in the world, alongside Afghanistan, where poliovirus continues to circulate.

So far in 2019, a total of eight polio cases have been reported including one from Karachi, two cases from Bannu, one from Hangu, one from Waziristan, one from Lahore, one Bajour, and one from Khyber Tribal district.

The press release further stated that the nationwide door to door polio vaccination campaign is currently going on.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that two drops of the safe and effective polio vaccine are administered to all children during this campaign.